Dietary supplementation with resveratrol and/or docosahexaenoic acid alters hippocampal gene expression in adult C57Bl/6 mice Academic Article uri icon


  • The hippocampus is an important brain structure for multiple cognitive functions, including memory formation. It is particularly sensitive to insults, such as stress, ischemia, and aging; all of these can affect hippocampal and therefore cognitive function. To understand the potential of diet for the preservation of hippocampal function, we investigated the effects of dietary supplementation with resveratrol (RES) or docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), or their combination, on hippocampal gene expression in adult C57BL/6 mice. Animals in the supplemented group received either 50 mg/kg/day of RES or DHA, while the combination group received 50 mg/kg/day of each supplement. Dietary supplements were mixed with the AIN93G diet, and supplementation lasted 6 weeks. The control group received AIN93G diet alone for the same period. At the end of the experiment, the hippocampi were processed for genome-wide gene expression and pathway analyses. Most of the genes that were significantly altered were associated with inflammatory responses as determined by pathway analysis. RES-supplemented animals showed decreased expression of IL-6 (P=.001), MAPKapk2 (P=.015), and increased expression for PI3KR2 (P=.034) and Wnt7a (P=.004) expression. DHA-supplemented animals showed a decreased IL-6 (P=.003) and an increased Wnt7a (P=.003) expression. Animals on the combination diet showed a decreased IL-6 (P=.005) and Apolipoprotien E (ApoE) (P=.035) expression. Our findings demonstrate that hippocampal gene expression is significantly altered by all three dietary supplementation regimes. Moreover, our analysis indicates that RES and DHA likely exert their beneficial effects through antiinflammatory mechanisms.

publication date

  • October 2013